Robert Mills


Charleston native Robert Mills was the first architect trained in America. Mills took an early interest in architecture while a student at the College of Charleston. After studying with Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Mills returned to South Carolina in 1820 to work with the Board of Public Works. Before leaving South Carolina in 1829, Mills designed twelve courthouses, the Fireproof Building in Charleston, the State Insane Asylum in Columbia and numerous churches. In addition, he planned and initiated the work on a major internal improvements plan. He also wrote and published the Statistics of South Carolina and the Atlas of the State of South Carolina. In 1830 Mills moved to Washington, D.C. and in 1836 was appointed Federal Architect and Engineer by President Andrew Jackson. During his tenure as Federal Architect he designed the Washington Monument, the Treasury Building, the Patent Office, and the National Post Office in Washington, D.C.